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Sun, May 5, 2019


One highlight of the year for the Martinsville Garden Club came on May 3 when it was announced at the club's annual social that A.C. Wilson had been named an honorary club member.
Wilson is the husband of Lucy Wilson, the club's flower shows chairman, and brother-in-law of Lucy's twin and MGC member, Coates Clark.
The sisters, who have continued the Pannill family prowess in all things daffodil, have won countless ribbons and trophies at flower shows over the years. A.C. Wilson helped along the way, with growing the flowers to accompanying the sisters on trips to flower shows and lending a hand in all the work that goes into displaying entries. More than that, he has distinguished himself in horticulture in his own right.
For one thing, A.C. Wilson has been a staunch supporter and board member of Gateway Streetscape, the program that uses plantings to beautify the entrances to Martinsville and Henry County. And his efforts in horticulture are evident in his own business property.
"He has shown a real commitment," MGC President Helen Carter said.
Coates Clark wrote that, that through her brother-in-law's horticultural efforts, "he contributes to the beauty of Martinsville."
He owns commercial property on the banks of the Smith River. That riverbank land is owned by the city, but needed more frequent clearing of unwanted growth. A.C. Wilson took over the maintenance and added blooming bushes, plants and bulbs.
He continues to add beauty to the bank and to the rest of the property.
"All who drive by on (Route) 220 into Martinsville can see an example of what one can do if so moved," his sister-in-law wrote.
So it made sense for MGC members to consider inviting A.C. Wilson to become an honorary club member. The membership did so, and managed to vote in secret.
"It was a total surprise for both of them," Helen Carter said of Lucy and A.C. Wilson. "As many people as knew beforehand, I'm delighted we were able to keep it a secret."
Lucy Wilson and Coates Clark have another sister with the family horticulture bent. Janie Vaughan is a member of Hillside Garden Club in Lynchburg. Not only does her husband David share her horticultural avidity, he has been named an honorary member of her club.
Helen Carter said that when told of his own invitation, A.C. Wilson said he could not wait to show his brother-in-law that he, too, had been asked to become an honorary garden club member.
The late Bill Pannill, a renowned hybridizer of daffodils known as "Daffy Bill," was also an honorary MGC member. He was the uncle of Lucy Wilson, Coates Clark and Jane Vaughan. (One picture on this website shows him standing in a field in Holland surrounded by thousands of his daffodils.)
Helen Carter thought the honor was fitting for the Wilsons.
"Lucy is just the perfect lady, and he is just the perfect gentleman. They're special folks."

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